A Buford-based shoe company announced Thursday that it is onshoring its productions and renovating its facility to create 340 new jobs.
Okabashi Brands Inc. is a family-owned company located at 4823 Roy Carlson Boulevard. The company will invest over $20 million in its 100,000-square-foot facility in the next five years to create more manufacturing lines. These lines will increase production by 100%, according to a press release from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.
Okabashi Brands is hiring for manufacturing and distribution positions, and more information on these roles can be found here.
Okabashi Brands is a third-generation, women-led company that was established in 1984 in Buford. It has sold over 35 million pairs of shoes directly to major retailers. Additionally, Okabashi Brands is part of the remaining 1% of shoe manufacturers operating in the U.S..
“Okabashi Brands’ commitment to our community and its people is one that dates back to the 1980s when my grandfather chose to bring his footwear manufacturing background to Georgia,” Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi Brands said in a press release from Gov. Kemp’s office. “The support from our community has fostered our growth and has allowed us to continue producing quality, American-made footwear. We are thrilled to be contributing to the local economy through this expansion.”
The company is eco-friendly and its shoes are made up of 100% recyclable materials. On average, Okabashi Brands’ shoes contain 25% of recycled content and are made of 45% soy by weight.
A press release from Partnership Gwinnett states that this manufacturing process keeps approximately 100 tons of scrap materials out of landfills. It also saves 134,000 gallons each year on overseas travel. Additionally, a 15% coupon incentivizes customers to return and recycle their shoes.
The USDA Biopreferred program recognizes Okabashi Brands for its sustainable efforts.
The company also has a long history of philanthropy. Okabashi Brands has donated over 100,000 pairs of shoes to frontline workers, disaster survivors and veterans.
It has maintained a 10-year partnership with Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that donates shoes to disaster survivors and micro-entrepreneurs who are trying to escape poverty.
Okabashi Brands earned the Corporate Citizen Award in April at the Partnership Gwinnett Movers and Makers: Manufacturing and Supply Chain Awards for its community involvement, educational partnerships and workforce development.
“Okabashi Brands epitomizes the Gwinnett Standard, excelling in integrity, service and stewardship,” Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said in a Partnership Gwinnett press release. “We appreciate their commitment to philanthropy, sustainability and most importantly, supporting our vibrant community.”